Startups in cyber security, infrastructure and system development and maintenance, data and analytics, and cloud and mobile services have a chance to play a role in the Singapore government’s ambitious plan to convert the island-state into a “smart nation”.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), announced today, during an industry briefing that it would be issuing tenders worth S$1.2 billion (US$960 million) in the financial year of 2014 for areas mentioned above.
The exercise is part of the Singapore government’s effort to invest in technology to enhance communication and interaction with citizens and businesses, and facilitate more active government-citizen engagement.
Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA emphasised on the need to roll out citizen-centric services “in a flexible and responsive manner” and said that the government was using data and analytics to anticipate and respond to citizens’ needs, allocate resources more efficiently and develop improved and smarter citizen e-services.
Chan Cheow Hoe, Assistant Chief Executive, IDA said the government will be adopting the multi-modal and co-sourcing model in partnership with industry players to develop capabilities and co-create solutions.
He said that about 90 per cent of the the opportunities in the S$1.2 billion budget will be under S$5 million (US$4 million); four per cent between S$5 million (US$4 million) and S$10 million (US$8 million); three per cent between S$10 million (US$8 million) and S$50 million (US$40 million); and one per cent above S$50 million (US$40 million).
Besides IDA, other government agencies also presented their infocomm procurement plans for 2014.
Speaking for Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr Lim Kia Yong, Director, Innovation and Security Audit Branch, ICT Division, said that the department will be leveraging on technology to enhance operational capabilities and augment the limited manpower resources on the ground. In the next three years, the ministry will be investing more resources in areas such as video analytics, business analytics, modelling and simulation.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Law and its statutory boards will be investing in their three-year ICT roadmap on 3D geospatial and integrated land information service. Service-oriented architecture and analytics will also be leveraged to provide more user-centric services and generate insights for policy formulation.
Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which has an estimated procurement budget S$100 million (US$80 million) for FY ’14, is looking to tap on external expertise to boost its call centre capabilities so that customers can get accurate and high quality advice quickly. This augments MOM’s pursuit for innovative solutions to improve the migration of call demands to self-service channels.
A helping hand for startups
Hoping to increase the number of projects being awarded to startups, the IDA recently, started the Accreditation@IDA programme that enables technology companies to gain visibility and the chance to win greater project opportunities from buyers from large enterprises and the government.
For the dearth of references, the biggest challenge startups face is the lack of opportunities to effectively compete for projects. The projects often get awarded to large established companies. The Accreditation@IDA programme provides assurance to the government and large enterprise buyers on the core functionalities of the product and the ability of the accredited companies to deliver.
One of the criterion to be eligible for accreditation is a group level annual revenue of S$10 million. The programme is targeted to be officially open for application in July 2014.